Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

The last 30 minutes before Thanksgiving dinner is served can be frenzied ones for the cook. These rich potatoes can be made up to a day ahead and simply reheated before everyone sits down – one less thing to do at the last minute.

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  • 5 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into 8 chunks, plus 1 tablespoon for buttering the casserole dish
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk, plus more if needed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks that are roughly the same size. Cover with cold water and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer the potatoes until they are tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Stir over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes to evaporate any excess moisture.

2. Mash the potatoes with a hand-held potato masher. (Alternative, rice the potatoes using a ricer.) Incorporate the butter and cream cheese. Add milk until the potatoes are of a good consistency. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Butter the inside of a casserole dish. Spread the potatoes out in an even layer in the casserole dish, smoothing the top with a spatula. Cool, cover, and refrigerate if not cooking right away. Before cooking, let the potatoes warm to room temperature (about an hour).

3. When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Bake the potatoes for 45 to 50 minutes, or until hot through and through.